FT Cares Foundation celebrates Light the Torch Night Run's 10th anniversary

Just after the sun dips below the horizon, runners will follow a 5K route through downtown Wheaton when the Light the Torch Night Run begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Central Athletic Complex.

Navigating through lanes illuminated with luminarias and glow sticks, participants will compete in this chip-timed race to celebrate this annual fundraising event's 10th anniversary.

The race is presented in partnership by the Wheaton Park District and the FT Cares Foundation.

"We initially held the race as a way to promote awareness of the Foundation, then later decided to partner with Wheaton Park District to expand our impact," said Lisa Weier, president of the FT Cares Foundation.

Weier said the foundation was created to provide a way for First Trust Portfolio's employees to give back and feel comfortable knowing their charitable donations would go to worthy causes.

Since 2012, FT Cares Foundation has donated over $3 million to over 325 charity organizations. The foundation's torch logo symbolizes bringing the light of hope and help to others.

A portion of the race proceeds will help FT Cares Foundation support a variety of charitable organizations. This year's beneficiaries include Café Liberty, Special Spaces of Illinois and local food pantries.

"We strive to make an impact on groups in the community. For the 10th anniversary, we're celebrating the history of the race and encouraging additional community support," Weier said.

In addition to the race itself, there will be a house decorating contest for houses that are situated along the parade route.

Runners and walkers are invited to accessorize with "glow-wear" such as glow sticks, glow bracelets and glow necklaces to add to the dazzling spectacle.

After the race, participants can stay on site to enjoy October Fest, hosted by the DuPage County Historical Museum, where there will be live music, carnival rides, kids' activities, food and a beer garden.

Registration fee is $40. For information or registration, visit and

Light up the race route

Do you live along the Light the Torch race route? Help to brighten the streets for the runners! For those interested in a friendly community competition, enter in a free house decorating contest. Show the community your most creative decorations and take part in Light the Torch from your home. Submit a photo and/or video of your submission by Sunday, Oct. 1, at 11:59 p.m. to to be entered to win. Three winners will be chosen at random to win some prizes. Photos will be shared on the Wheaton Park District Facebook page for public viewing.

For questions, contact race director Carolyn Wilkin at

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